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This year, Pulaski County Special School District is implementing AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) across the district to help with the growth mindset of college and career readiness. PCSSD Executive Director of Communications, Jessica Duff, spoke with our Robinson school family (Baker, Chenal, Lawson and Robinson Elementary schools, Robinson Middle and Robinson High) about what AVID means.

What is AVID? AVID is a college and career readiness system centered on engaging professional learning. It shows educators how to increase student engagement, promote classroom collaboration and activate deeper levels of learning in their classrooms with practical, immediately useful tools and instructional strategies.

Why was AVID selected? It is a tiered approach to student advancement that is research-based with nearly 40 years of evidence. Starting at the elementary level, AVID Elementary prepares students’ minds and skills that support the overall AVID mission to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. 

What is the value of AVID for students in PCSSD? Pivotal learning skills are developed early in the elementary years, can be sharpened as students advance through middle school and by the  time they reach high school it’s only a matter of using these skills to prepare for the next step - college and career readiness.

What sort of skills are taught with AVID? Student Success Skills and Organizational Skills are two of the most important areas of concentration with AVID. Student Success Skills include communication skills such as listening, speaking, writing, self-advocacy skills, note-taking strategies, critical thinking, and study skills. Organizational Skills can be both mental and physical, learning and practicing skills around time management and goal-setting can help every student get started on the path for success.

What are you most excited about when it comes to AVID in your school? 

“I love seeing the  partnerships. These are partnerships among students, classrooms and grade levels,” says Chenal Elementary principal Yolanda Harris. “It’s not just here [at Chenal], it’s a partnership with other schools, feeder patterns as well as families, and communities.”

“As we dive into the year, what excites me about AVID is developing a college-going culture at Robinson Middle School,” says principal Yaa Appiah-McNulty.  “Providing our students with tools to help them stay organized and as well as learning goal-setting techniques will be essential to their success in the future years and beyond.”

“AVID’s impact on the high school experience for students equips them with the tools and prepares them for college and employment,” says Robinson High School principal Mary Carolyn Bailey. “We’re happy to implement additional tools like AVID to help our students succeed once they leave our school.”